University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: Archives

1966 Film Made in the Navajo Nation Gets Sound 50 years Later

Maxine and Mary Jane Tsosie with their Grandfather Sam Yazzie

By: Kate Pourshariati

Thanks to a unique set of circumstances a developing relationship has borne fruit this year for the Museum Archives. A film made in 1966 by Dr. Richard Chalfen, who generously donated his work to the Museum a few years ago, was never quite complete; it was lacking a sound track. In 2015 our Film Archivist […]

Maya and Guatemalan History in Film — Live from the Archives

people in Guatemala celebrate the end of a reign of terror

By: Kate Pourshariati

Archival Guatemalan footage from 1940 enriches a new film covering a long span of history.

Ancient Ur and Historic Iraq: Woolley’s 11th Season

Photo taken by Father Leon Legrain in Ur season 4 (1925-1926. At center is Hamoudi's son Yahia who was in charge of photography and here he carries the photo tripod. At left may be his brother Ibrahim, though evidence tends to indicate he bean work only in the following season 5.

By: Brad Hafford

Ur Digitization Project Blog, March 2016 Spotlight on Archival Documents Field Report dated December 31, 1932 Over the past few months I’ve been going over the reports that Leonard Woolley sent from the field 80-90 years ago. This analysis is helping to create pages at Ur-Online that track the yearly progress of excavation. We have collected the field reports […]

What’s in a Name?


By: Kate Pourshariati

Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy has a complicated life history to go with his multi-syllabic name. Having a Lao father and a Cambodian mother, his name reflects a choice of necessity made by his parents before immigrating, as you will see in his short film below. Some footage from the Museum Archives’ Watson Kintner Collection of Cambodia and […]

Elder Folks as “Living Museums”

rawls at left with gun

By: Kate Pourshariati

We in the Museum Archives were pleased to host the extended George Rawls family, where they were able to catch up on their grandfather/great-grandfather and his role in the feature film Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness (1931). Our visitor John Ash is the grandson of George Rawls, the Florida cowboy who played the lead […]

Stewart Culin in Cuba, 1901

Jose Almenares Arguello, El Caney, Cuba. Almenares claimed to be 112.  Penn Museum image no. 240597A

By: Alessandro Pezzati

In 1901, Stewart Culin, Curator of the General Ethnology Section (among his many titles) of the Penn Museum, traveled to Cuba to investigate the existence of an un-acculturated indigenous group in the mountains of eastern Cuba. Culin’s journey, which lasted a few weeks, took him to Havana and points in eastern Cuba, including El Caney, […]

In the Alaskan Wilderness, 1907

Mt. Denali from the North, Alaska, 1907.  From a sketch by G. B. Gordon from a point on the Kantishna just below the fork.  Charcoal drawing on board by M. Louise Baker, 1917.  Penn Museum image no 171578

By: Alessandro Pezzati

In 1907, George Byron Gordon (still as Curator of the General Ethnology Section; he would assume the Directorship of the Penn Museum in 1910) led a small ethnological reconnaissance to Alaska. He had been there in 1905, traveling along portions of the Yukon River. This time, accompanied by his brother, MacLaren Gordon, he traveled to […]



By: Eric Schnittke

Since the 1990s, the archives profession has used October as a rallying point for advocacy for the important work that archivists do. What was once a week honoring archives has now become a month and is now known as Archives Month (#ArchivesMonth). Whether assisting researchers, preserving documents, or relating a historical anecdote, archivists across the […]

Ur Project: August 2015

Sample note card from Legrain's research. The category for the figurine is in blue pencil at bottom.

By: Brad Hafford

Researcher Notes and Intern Work Spotlight on Legrain note cards (and the interns who helped with them) Including a special look at model brick(?) U.7587 (Museum Object Number: B17216) Near the end of the old Ur excavations, Father León Legrain (Penn Museum Babylonian Section Curator at the time) began writing two volumes for the Ur Excavation series. […]

Fanny’s Reincarnation

“Fanny, my dear, I must admit that your appearance is altered.”

By: Alyssa Velazquez

The work in the Penn Museum Archives never ends. The backlog resists attempts at taming it. The Archives is happy to have a number of interns and volunteers who are willing to help organize, catalog, and preserve the documents, drawings, and photographs in the collections. Alyssa Velazquez is one such intern, who is presently reorganizing […]

Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

© Penn Museum 2016 Sitemap / Contact / Copyright / Disclaimer / Privacy /